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1938 – 1940 Flying 8A & 1945 -
Also available to download as a .pdf file from here
Buying Guide Pre-
This is one of a series of buyer’s guides on Standard cars for those who are looking at a prospective purchase.
This guide assumes all the normal checks will be done, such as such as oil pressure, compression or lack of it, oil in water, noises, rattles, state of electrics, etc, etc. It is intended to identify the good and bad points of the Pre & Post-
Major Differences between Pre & Post-
5. The prop shaft is shorter on the post-
6. A modified brake countershaft is fitted to the post-
7. The chassis cross member is moved further towards the rear axle to allow for the four-
8. The transverse front spring is secured in the centre with four nuts on pre-
9. The shackles and shackle pins were modified. (see more details in the Steering & Suspension Section.)
To be found under the bonnet on a plate on the bulkhead (firewall).
July 1938 8A N1 on
January 1940 8A N23069 on
August 1940 8A N33101 on De Luxe
August 1940 8A N34601 Standard
To be found under the bonnet on a plate on the bulkhead (firewall)
July 1945 NA 1
January 1946 NA 1711
January 1947 NA 19344
January 1948 NA 42063
Background and Model History
The Standard Flying 8A Saloon, Saloon De-
After the war Standard officially dropped the ‘Flying’ part of the name but early post-
The Standard 4/8A Saloon, Tourer & Coupe were re-
The cars were very unusual for small cars of the time in having independent front suspension.
The cars all featured the waterfall style grille.
All the cars have a separate chassis with C Section side rails and cruciform bracing in the centre of the car. There are ladder rails at the rear near the petrol tank and in front of the engine. The chassis is underslung at rear. Rear axle with conventional differential and half shafts. Propshaft with front and rear Hardy Spicer universal joints. The chassis are robustly built and have no particular weaknesses.
Due to the lower vaporisation point of modern fuels a common problem is vaporisation of the fuel, causing the engine to stall when hot. There are two solutions to this:
1 Lag all the fuel pipes with exhaust lagging and route them as far away from the engine as practicable and fit a heat deflector shield between the exhaust manifold and fuel pump.
2 Replace the mechanical fuel pump with an electric pump that can be mounted away from the engine and lag the pipes with exhaust lagging.
The camshaft opens the valves via tappets that are held in two removable blocks. The camshaft in the block is turned by a Reynolds chain from the crank wheel. The distributor is driven by a shaft geared to the centre of the camshaft, the distributor being situated at the top of the shaft on the cylinder head while the other end of the shaft turns the oil pump in the sump. These cars are not fitted with a water pump and water circulation is achieved by thermo-
Clutch and Gearbox.
A conventional Borg and Beck dry clutch drives a three-
First gear can be very noisy. Spare parts or complete second-
A conventional Borg and Beck dry clutch drives a four-
It is important to note that pre & post war gearboxes are NOT interchangeable.
Steering & Suspension
The cars use Burman Douglas steering boxes; these do suffer from wear in the steering nut and pin. Replacement nuts are sometimes available and these easily remove about 50% of the wear in the box, but further improvement requires a costly rebuild of the box.
Early cars up to 1946 had an adjustable top outer bush; this was to adjust the camber angle. This adjustment was deleted on the later cars.
The Club has most parts, including new wishbones, plus this adjustable bush -
The shackle pins for the front suspension were changed after the first 5000 cars were produced in 1945/6 from 1/2” to 9/16”.
For later cars there is a limited supply of complete kits containing all the necessary pins, bushes & thrush washers etc. We also have the shackle pins early & late 1/2” & 9/16”.
All the cars have independent front suspension. On pre-
Ignition and Electrics
A Lucas six volt system is used, with the battery under the bonnet on the left (nearside) bulkhead. Two types of six-
The club carries both types of reconditioned dynamos, plus cut-
The starter is mounted alongside the engine and throws the Bendix dog into mesh with the starter ring on flywheel. A starter switch mounted on the end of the starter is operated by a piano wire from the dash.
There are separate sidelights and headlights at front; a dipping solenoid extinguishes the offside light when operating on dipped beam. (See Headlights below.) A single rear light and stop light were original fitments. Trafficators fitted in centre pillars
Brakes, Wheels and Tyres
All cars have cable Bendix Brakes operating on all four wheels. The centre-
Wheels on the pre-
The Saloon and Coupe were fitted with 4.75 X 16" tyres and the Tourer had 4.5 X 16” tyres. These are available from most classic car tyre suppliers but are expensive; 500/525 X 16 can be fitted and are cheaper but the spare wheel cover on the Tourer does not then fit. Visit the club WebShop where you can obtain a special members-
The body is of welded pressed steel with separate bolted-
Fortunately the prospects are quite bright. The cars are over-
Whilst it would be good to find a car with a nice interior, chances are that it may be worn. All the materials required to restore the interior are available for DIY use. Professional re-
Other potential weak points
Wood rot: Front floor kick-
Rust spots: Sills and door bottoms are the most easily attacked, followed by inner wings at the front and rear, then floor and boot corners. In bad cases the outer wing edges will rot, as will the panel joints between the inner and outer wings and between the inner wings and the chassis. Unfortunately no new panels are available and second-
It is very important that the sills, particularly on the Tourer & Coupe, are in good condition, as they are vital to the integrity of the car and the front will part company with the rear. The club can supply over sills to members via the WebShop.
On dipped beam the offside headlight is extinguished while the nearside has a solenoid-
Alternatively double filament bulbs should be used, this requiring another lighting circuit.
Tail lights/stop lights
Original fitment was only one of each. The wiring can be simply extended and a duplicate light fitted on the nearside, if that has not already been done
All saloons have a sunroof and these should be checked for leaks. Staining on the headlining is an obvious clue. The most common cause is holes in one or more of the four drainpipes extending from the corners. Make sure that the drain tubes are not blocked and that the rubber tubes under the wings are not perished or missing. A good way to clear the drains is to use a curtain wire to push out the debris. If leaking, the drains are relatively easily remedied in themselves but require the disturbance and replacement of the headlining to get at them.
The Standard Motor Club has a Comprehensive Spares Scheme for its members. The following is a list of some of the spares held by the club for these cars.
Engine and Gearbox Mountings
Early and Late D Cap, Early and Late Condensers, Early and Late Points, Rotor Arms, Plugs, Six volt Coils
Exchange Dynamos, Dynamo Pulleys, Exchange Starters, Starter Switches, Bulbs, Trafficator Arms and covers, Headlamp Glass, Side lamp Glass, Rear Lamps -
Linings, Shoes Exchange, Cables -
Steering and Suspension
Axle shaft -
Speedo heads -
Tourer Doors, Bonnet -
Exhaust Systems, Exhaust Pipes, silencers, hangers, Head and Manifold Studs, Head and Manifold Nuts, Radiator, Radiator Hoses
Front Hubs, Rear Hubs, Axle Shafts, Gearbox, Pinions
For front hubs, rear hubs, gearbox, axles
Many other parts including three and four speed gearboxes, complete engines and loose parts.
Please note that this buyers guide only highlights certain facts and is not exhaustive. If you intend to buy a Standard car, whether as a running vehicle or a restoration project, always ensure that it is inspected by a qualified person before driving it on the road.
Written by Richard Hyde with special thanks to Brian Parkes & Phil Homer for spare parts information and additional technical information. (Issue 2. February 2015.)